An outraged Sen. Chuck Grassley shared the incredible news that besides asking for the content of the prayers of a pro-life group in Iowa, the Internal Revenue Service asked the group to sign an oath swearing they would not protest at Planned Parenthood facilities if it wanted tax-exempt status.
Grassley questioned outgoing IRS acting commissioner Steven Miller during Tuesday’s hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on the IRS targeting of conservative political and pro-life organizations.
Grassley’s disbelief that the IRS would require people to compromise their First Amendment rights to earn tax-exempt status was apparent as he relayed the following story:
This comes directly from Iowa, one of my constituents attempted to establish 501(c)(3) charity called Coalition for Life of Iowa. She told my staff that an IRS agent told her “Your application’s ready to go. However, it will not be approved until you send a letter signed by your entire board under penalty of perjury saying that you will not protest at Planned Parenthood.”
Last week, Rep. Aaron Schock grilled Miller about the inappropriate requests for the content of prayers by members of the Coalition for Life of Iowa. Grassley continued the line of questioning in the Senate.
Grassley asked Miller if it was “appropriate even for an IRS employee to offer quid pro quo in the example like this,” CNS News reported. Miller said, “No.”
The exchange continued with Grassley asking:
Okay, let’s move on. That’s a good answer, because that’s the answer you ought to give, but how on earth could you let something like this happen under your leadership and do either of you feel any responsibility or remorse for treating American citizens this way?
I don’t know what happened in your given case, and as you well are aware, I can’t speak to it under the 6103 rules, but I do apologize for the treatment of folks, and look, there are two things that happened with these cases.
First was the selection, and the selection criteria was bad. Second was their treatment once they were in that group, and that too was bad, sir. It was. I don’t know whether this particular organization was inside or outside of that group, but the service that folks got was not the service that we should be providing anyone. There’s no question about that.
Watch via CNS News here:
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